As losses go, Kansas City Kansas Community College's 3-2 overtime loss to nationally ranked Butler County Wednesday night was as painful as they come.
Butler came into the contest ranked No. 4 by the U.S. Soccer Coaches Assn. and No. 5 by the NJCAA but it was the underdog Lady Blue Devils who led much of the game.
Butler's tying goal came with just 12:51 remaining on a 45-yard free kick that hit off the hands of KCKCC goalkeeper Jaidyn Takaishi and bounced behind her to Sandra Thiman, who had an open net for the score. Then to add insult to injury, the Grizzlies won it with 5.9 seconds remaining in the first extra period on a 35-yard missile from Maizi Garwood, a freshman from Brentwood, England.
"We were very fortunate to score the second goal," said Butler Coach Adam Hunter. "I think 99 times out of 100 the goalkeeper is not dropping that ball. In overtime, Maizi picked up a ball and took a smart, sensible shot on goal and man – what a shot! She hit a pill. Give KCK a lot of credit to make us fight that hard for the win."
The loss was the first in three starts for the Blue Devils, who resume Jayhawk Conference action Saturday in a 5 p.m. doubleheader against Neosho County in Chanute. The win was the fourth in a row for Butler (6-1).
Despite the disappointing loss, KCKCC Coach Shawn Uhlenhake was pleased with the Blue Devils' effort. "I think this proved we're a competitive team; we led the majority of the game and really played well," said Uhlenhake. "Good teams make you pay for your mistakes. We made them pay for some mistakes but unfortunately they capitalized on one more mistake than we did. We just have to build off what we learned tonight."
The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead when freshman Kayley Pedersen hit Corrine Hughes crossing into the box with a perfect pass that Hughes blasted into the net with 29:42 left in the first half. "A great goal," said Uhlenhake. The lead held up until the 9:14 mark when the Grizzlies' Acsa Reyes headed in a shot from just in front of the goal on a corner kick.
KCKCC went back ahead 29 minutes into the second half when freshman Madison Broeker took a pass from Melissa Siegel and beat goalkeeper Lexi Winkle with a left-foot blast into the right corner of the goal. Fired up by the goal, the Blue Devils controlled the ball much of the next 15 minutes before the Grizzlies avoided what would have been the Jayhawk Conference's biggest upset of the season.
"Our entire backline really played well," said Uhlenhake. "Alex Schemmel and Paige Liston were out on an island on the outside and did really well. This was by far the most entertaining game we've played on our field."
Defensively, Takaishi was credited with five saves on Butler's 10 shots while the Blue Devils got off nine shots. One of Butler's saves came on a breakaway in the final three minutes by KCKCC's Kayla Deaver, who had her shot deflected out of bounds by Winkle.